Jessica Swale’s vision for readapting renowned classic The Jungle Book was many-faceted; as well it might have been. But the Olivier award-winning playwright has succeeded mag-nificently in refreshing this story, the original of which is so ingrained in our culture thanks to Rudyard Kipling and, of course, Disney.
She says: “The language needs to trip from the actors’ tongues. And it should be funny. I wanted to ensure that we never lose the sense of being in the jungle because that’s what peo-ple come to see.”
Well, this production, directed superbly by Max Webster, succeeds on all of those ambi-tions…and more!
The new Jungle Book is certainly identifiable with the original classic and is crammed with memorable characters but embraces a dozen new songs (thanks to the fantastic work of composer Joe Stilgoe) and an intriguing take on the tale which has been so joyously re-ceived over the years (the original books from Kipling dates back to 1894).
We see Mowgli, the man cub, fighting for survival in this exhilarating coming-of-age story about a boy in the jungle who is raised by wolves in the jungle.
And with the aid of his pals in the animal kingdom, including panther Bagheera, Kaa the python and Baloo the bear, Mowgli outsmarts the brutally powerful tiger, Shere Khan, and must quickly wise up to jungle law.
Our verdict: Sing-a-long to the swing-a-long — you’ll have a wild time in this jungle!
Until February 3.